Hello, listeners! Smiley-face, pray-hands, smiley-face-with-cat-ears . . . wow, this is harder than I thought. How come so many people are into these emoji things? They take forever! Yes, in this new episode of the back-alley fight we’re calling “You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make Me,” I inflict the animated colonoscopy that is “The Emoji Movie” on poor, unsuspecting Mike. Yeesh. This may have been cruel, even for me. Yes, this is another movie in the vein of “Toy Story,” “Wreck-it Ralph” or “Inside Out” which involves the disturbing trope about “things you didn’t know were actually sentient.” Apparently there’s an entire world in each of our smart phones; you know those little pictures you send when you don’t feel that dumb old “words” will do the job? They’re actually self-aware creatures, forced into servitude by the all-powerful phone users . . . huh. This is starting to sound like “Tron.” Well, is it like Tron? Is Mike still speaking to me? Come, find out! Heart, cat-head, bandicoot.
Welcome back to “Max, Mike; Movies”, and here we are slap-bang in the middle of the mind-mangling fray we call “You Can’t Make Me, You Can’t Make Me,” where Mike and I are facing off against one another. Not with bullets or blades but with the weapons we know best: bad movies. In this series, we’re choosing the worst movies we can find and forcing each other to watch them. This week, Mike strikes back at my “Mazes and Monsters” stab with a savage riposte called “Pixels,” one of the most Adam Sandler-y of the Adam Sandler oeuvre. This movie is based on a two and a half minute short with the simple premise of an alien invasion/attack. However, for some reason, the aliens are manifesting as avatars from classic video games, such as Pacman and Space Invaders. Two and a half minutes, and you know what? It works. As a short. As one hundred and six minutes of movie? Starring (of course) Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad and Peter Dinklage (oh man, Mr. Dinklage, please forgive me for in any way reminding people that you were stuck in this film. I hope the paycheck covered your children’s’ college tuition. And grad school), this movie follows the “Ready Player One” model as a fantasy for those who grew up in the eighties. Hi, guys! Remember all those hours you wasted in the video arcade playing Centipede? Turns out it wasn’t a waste of time! Those “skills” are the very thing humanity will need to fight off an alien invasion! See, it’s a GOOD thing you never went outside!
Hoo boy. So, this film makes me question if there is truly any good in humanity. Um, I mean, come listen and see if I liked it or something. Oh dear, was that a spoiler?